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A three-game losing run brings the New Jersey Devils (8th in Metropolitan Division) to a domestic outing against the Chicago Blackhawks (7th in Central), who will be playing with no rest following a victory in Boston…
‘Hawks End Losing SkidA back-to-back road set started with a win for the Chicago Blackhawks (11-12-5), who squandered a three-goal lead, but still managed to claim a 4-3 overtime triumph against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Thursday. Jonathan Toews (5 goals, 15 points this year) banked the winner 54 seconds into the extra session after the hosts scored three consecutive goals in the third frame to force the bonus period. Ryan Carpenter (1 goal, 8 points), Dylan Strome (6 goals, 19 points) and Alex DeBrincat (6 goals, 20 points) also got on the scoreboard for Chicago, which ended a three-game losing run (0-3-0).
Goalie Robin Lehner (6-5-3 on the season with a 2.71 GAA and a .929 save percentage) made 37 saves in Boston, but will be backing up Corey Crawford for the trip to New Jersey. Crawford is 3-4-1 against the Devils previously with a 3.49 GAA and a .878 save percentage, and has gone 5-7-2 for the rolling year with a 3.04 GAA and a .909 save percentage. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, are 10th in least goals scored per game (2.79), 14th in most goals allowed on average (3.04), 26th in power play (14.1%) and 17th in penalty kill (80.7%).
Devils Lose Third StraightThe current losing skid of the New Jersey Devils (9-14-4) stretched out to three consecutive outings (0-3-0) after the team dropped a 4-3 decision against the Vegas Golden Knights at Prudential Center on Tuesday. With new coach Alain Nasreddine slipping into the place of sacked John Hynes, the Devils recorded 1-0 and 2-1 leads ahead of the second intermission before the Knights scored three consecutive snipes in the final third, as Nico Hischier (5 goals, 16 points this year) was only able to make it 4-3. Kyle Palmieri (10 goals, 18 points) and Jesper Bratt (5 goals, 8 points) also scored for the Devils, who are 2-6-0 in their last eight fixtures.
Nasreddine talks about how his first practice went as interim head coach, and where he wants to take the team.— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) December 5, 2019
“It’s a partnership. I care about every single player. I’m here to make every player better and that will benefit the team in the end.” pic.twitter.com/j73KXuKSc8
Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 26 shots versus Vegas, taking his current performance status to 8-8-3 for the season with a 3.17 GAA and a .896 save percentage. He has won his only previous start against the Chicago Blackhawks, allowing five goals on 32 shots in an 8-5 victory for New Jersey back on Jan. 14. The Devils, meanwhile, are scoring the 4th lowest quantity of goals per game (2.52), while conceding the 2nd highest bulk in their defensive zone (3.63). They are 28th in power play (13.1%) and 24th in penalty kill (76.1%).
New Jersey (according to Covers.com)
- Devils are 11-4 in their last 15 meetings with Blackhawks in New Jersey.
Chicago (according to Covers.com)
- Blackhawks are 0-6 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400.
- Blackhawks are 2-8 in their last 10 vs. a team with a losing record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
After the sacking of coach John Hynes on Tuesday, the Devils still came up short to snap a two-game losing run, with new interim coach Alain Nasreddine starting his New Jersey reign with a defeat to the Vegas Golden Knights (4-3). The Devils will try to bounce back from three consecutive defeats when playing host to the Chicago Blackhawks, who will be skating in the second contest of a back-to-back stretch, having already won four of their past five outings contested with no rest. Playing on the road, though, has not brought too many good results for the ‘Hawks, who have dropped 10 of their previous 14 travels already. They will also be visiting a venue, where they have lost on 11 of the last 15 occasions. So, bank on this one to go New Jersey way!
Prediction: New Jersey Devils (-145)
Full-Game Total Pick
Four of the last five head-to-head meetings between New Jersey and Chicago have seen at least seven snipes on the scoresheet, averaging 9.75 markers per game. So, do go with the Over in this one as well! Four of the last five road contests of the Blackhawks have already been filled with goals, as have three of the previous four overall matchups of the Devils.
Prediction: Over 6.5